Jonas Kaufmann as the title character of Wagner's "Parsifal."
(Photo : Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)
On Feb. 15 the Metropolitan Opera will unveil its new production of Wagner's "Parsifal."
The three-act opera is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival. Wagner's tale tells the story of Parsifal and his search for the Holy Grail.
The production by François Girard (The Red Violin) marks the celebration of Wagner's 200th birthday and the Met's first new production of the opera since 1991. Girard has described his production as being set in a post apocalyptic world made barren by global warming. He also stated that it is about the "search for spirituality and the fundamental principles of compassion and temptation."
German tenor Jonas Kaufmann returns to the Met for the title role. He last appeared at on the Met stage in December 2011 in the title role of "Faust." Kaufmann recently stated in an interview with The New York Times that the production contained 1,600 gallons of blood and that it "looks exactly like those images you see from Africa where it hasn't rained in many years and there are cracks in the surface of the earth."
The tenor also commented on Wagner's music stating, "Every time I'm overwhelmed by the beauty of this music. The music that describes all these miracles and all this passion is just incredibly gorgeous and tempting. It really pulls you into this world. Even people who are not religious become religious while hearing this music."
The opera also stars bass Rene Pape who also appeared in "Faust" with Kaufmann and mezzo soprano Katarina Dalayman who triumphed as Brunhilde in Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" last spring. Bass, Evgeny Nikitin sings the role of Klingsor and Swedish baritone Peter Mattei sings the role of Amfortas.
Daniele Gatti returns to the Metropolitan Opera pit. He last appeared in 2009 to conduct Aida.
Parsifal will be performed on Feb. 18, 21, 27, March. 2, 5, and 8. The opera will be broadcast live in movie theaters around the world on March 2nd as part of the Met's Live in HD transmissions.